An anonymous NFL executive has questioned the Houston Texans' picks in the 2021 NFL draft.
"Honestly, I don't know what the hell they're doing," the exec told Mike Sando of The Athletic on Friday. "The only pick that made sense was taking Nico Collins, who is big and really athletic, has really good hands, is a contested ball catcher who doesn't create a lot of separation but had a great pro day after sitting out this past season."
The Texans didn't have an opportunity to make a major splash in the draft because they traded their picks in the first two rounds to the Miami Dolphins as part of an August 2019 trade for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills.
Houston ended up making five selections, with the first not coming until No. 67 overall when they chose Stanford quarterback Davis Mills. They added Collins later in the third round.
Here are their other picks:
- Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (Fla.)
- Garret Wallow, LB, TCU
- Roy Lopez, DT, Arizona
Jordan represented nice value in the fifth round, and the Texans received generally solid grades from the media, including a B-minus from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
Another source told Sando that Houston's draft class was obviously hampered by the lack of early picks, but they thought the front office otherwise did a solid job.
"It's not good at all, but it's the best of a tough situation for them, the best they could do," an evaluator told The Athletic.
The selection of Mills came as a minor surprise given the team's other needs, but the continued uncertainty surrounding starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who requested a trade and faces 22 civil lawsuits related to sexual assault and misconduct, likely played a key role in that decision.
Houston is also going through organization-wide changes following their 4-12 record in 2020, led by the hire of general manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley.
So no team has faced more turnover and question marks heading toward the 2021 season than the Texans, and the potential trade of Watson would likely spark a full-scale rebuild in the coming years.
That said, in terms of the Texans' draft class, the upside was limited by the picks they had available, and it doesn't appear they did that poorly at first glance despite some outside criticism.